Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Europe
Protesters are preparing for the latest round in a bitter dispute over a massive wind turbine proposed by the world-famous Glyndebourne Opera House. They claim that if it is allowed the 230-feet-high turbine will spoil the iconic beauty of the South Downs countryside. ...Ruth Chambers, the deputy chief executive of the Council for National Parks, said: "This case raises important national issues as it would be the largest turbine in any national park in England once the park comes into being. We are fully behind the local groups in opposing this threat to the precious downland landscape."
The government wants 45% of the country's electricity to come from renewables such as wind, hydro, and solar by 2010. And that's just a start. "This challenge will create a new industrial revolution," Portugal's economy minister, Manuel Pinho, told the BBC. ...The campaigners are torn between their concern about climate change and their love for the wildlife. "We should have renewable power but not at any price," Joao says.
Pat Northgraves, owner of High Farm Country Park, which is next to the proposed site of the wind farm at Routh, near Beverley, said the plans could threaten local businesses. He said: "Tourism is a key economic driver within the area. "This business could be irrevocably damaged if the proposals proceed. "It would put something at risk, which we built up from scratch and which relies on the natural resources of the region for its continued success. "This risk is unacceptable."
Yesterday, E.ON held a public meeting in the Northamptonshire village where computer generated photographs showing what the 377ft turbines would look like from the battlefield were put on show. The plans shocked residents who turned out in force to give their opinions. Wendy Westall, who lives close to where the turbines would be sited, said: "We're utterly and totally opposed to them. "They're just not appropriate for this historic area. Everyone around here is very proud of the battlefield and we want to protect it."
Plans for a controversial wind farm near Pontefract have been slammed by a Wakefield Council consultant. The news has come as a massive boost to local pressure groups fighting a dogged campaign to see off the plans by developers Banks Developments. ...Campaigners in Pontefract claim the wind masts are too close to local homes, will ruin their peaceful community and drive down house prices. ...Since then the Landscape Architect working for Wakefield Council has drafted his own response to the plans. A summary released by PWAG reads: "The turbines are close to residential dwellings. Their height results in them being visible over a relatively large area and the impact on the landscape character of Went Edge will be severe.
Green-power company Enertrag UK has been accused of declaring war on the Norfolk countryside after revealing proposals for a second windfarm. It is looking to build six wind turbines at New Road, Tivetshall St Mary, and has submitted a "scoping opinion" to South Norfolk Council, asking what information it would need to include in an environmental impact assessment. The village is within 10 miles of Hempnall where Enertrag's proposals to develop seven 130m-high turbines to supply renewable energy for the National Grid have sparked a public outcry. ..."I hope Enertrag's latest move will provoke a genuine debate amongst Norfolk people about the real value that we attach to our rural landscape, and whether we care about protecting it. The challenge for those of us who object to onshore wind turbines in inappropriate areas is to find ways of supporting renewable- energy schemes which don't degrade the countryside."
We add our support to all who believe that the government should not approve the proposed Lewis wind power development. The impact of such a development on landscape, wildlife and community interests would not be justified. We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to address some fundamental questions over Scotland's energy strategy. ...The government has time to pause before granting any more wind farm approvals, to ask whether it simply wants to carry on the policies of previous governments, or whether it wants to demonstrate a better way forward for wind energy development. New criteria, set by the government, are needed to define the type of landscape within which modern turbines can be accommodated, along with height limits. We cannot depend on simply excluding such large industrial structures from the areas designated for their wildlife and landscape value and their surrounding mountains and moorlands. A new approach is needed in which a world-class energy policy has due regard for a world-class landscape, throughout Scotland.
A controversial plan to build a wind farm on a sensitive habitat near the Pentland Hills was thrown out by councillors yesterday. Energy company E.ON UK wanted to build 18 turbines on a raised bog at Auchencorth Moss near Penicuik, but the scheme attracted about 2,400 objections and opposition from groups including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Pentlands and the Butterfly Conservation Society. Naturalist David Bellamy described the plan as "an act of international vandalism"
Ireland's failure to insist on environmental impact assessments before major development projects are carried out will be scrutinised by the European Court of Justice on Thursday. The European Commission brought an action against Ireland in May 2006, claiming that the government had failed to comply with its obligations under the 1985 Impact Assessment Directive. ...The commission alleged that ‘‘particular deficiencies'' in relation to environmental impact assessments for a wind farm at Derrybrien, Co Galway, amounted to ‘‘a manifest breach of the directive''. Work began on the 60-megawatt windfarm in July 2003. About 90 per cent of the site roads on the 300-hectare site and half the bases of the 71 wind turbines had been completed when a landslide occurred on October 16, 2003. The landslide destroyed trees, fisheries and an empty house, and blocked two roads, but nobody was hurt.
Eight days ago, to the jubilation of its critics and environmentalists, it emerged that the Scottish executive was "minded to refuse" the £500m scheme as it would seriously damage the moor's extremely fragile, internationally-protected habitats for rare birds such as dunlin, golden eagles, merlin, golden plover and red-throated divers. The moor itself is one of the most ecologically-significant peat bogs in Europe. Scottish ministers have since come under intense pressure to reverse that provisional decision before making a final announcement this month. Councillors, crofters' leaders and the developers are vigorously lobbying ministers and the European commission to save the north Lewis scheme, or at least find a compromise. Today the local Scottish National party MSP, Alasdair Allan, will face those bitterly-disappointed people at a meeting on Lewis.
The Scottish Government has inflicted the biggest injury on the reputation of Scotland as a place renowned for its natural beauty. The approval of the 68-turbine Griffin wind farm in the heart of Highland Perthshire has sounded the death knell to Perthshire's worldwide reputation as a jewel in the crown of Scotland's scenery. The 68 massive turbines would be seen from every hill and mountain top in the area, including Schiehallion, pictured. ...Why did the people living here not stop this?" The answer is that the Scottish Government listened to the power companies, not the people.
Conwy councillors yesterday voted to oppose a 250-turbine windfarm off the North Wales coast. They also urged the Government to do the same when it rules on the scheme this year. Developers npower Renewables Ltd had reduced the size of its proposed Gwynt y Môr offshore windfarm but Conwy council's Cabinet nonetheless rejected it. The Cabinet also objected to the fact that the final decision would be taken outside Wales. ...Cabinet member Coun Keith Toy said: "I believe decisions about Wales should be made in Wales." The council voted to object to the proposed windfarm and recommend the Government refuses it due to visual impact, scale, siting, noise and possible adverse effect on tourism.
A nationally important Cornish landscape is at risk from a £5 million wind farm, a packed public inquiry heard yesterday. In what could be a landmark case, the hearing was told the plan for turbines at Morwenstow could seriously damage adjoining areas, one designated as of great landscape value and the other an area of outstanding natural beauty. The first day of the appeal, by Crimp Wind Power Ltd against a decision by North Cornwall District Council refusing planning permission, also heard the turbines would threaten the habitat of several rare species of bat. Moira Hankinson, a chartered landscape designer who carried out a visual assessment and audit for North Cornwall District Council said the development would be "entirely out of character with the narrow wooded valleys and winding lanes". She said: "It is a fragile landscape which needs care. ..."
Bute and Cowal's councillors have turned down plans for a 14-turbine wind farm on a south Cowal hill directly opposite Rothesay Bay. Six councillors on the Bute and Cowal area committee unanimously rejected the proposal by Cowal Wind Energy Ltd to establish a wind farm on Corlarach, capable of generating up to 42 megawatts of electricity. Some 30 members of the public were present at the Queen's Hall in Dunoon for the hearing on Tuesday morning, though apart from Peter Wallace, secretary of Bute Community Council, and a reporter from The Buteman, none appeared to have made the journey from Bute. Though the council's own planning department recommended that the application be refused, they also received a huge volume of public correspondence on the matter - with the vast majority of responses apparently supporting the plan.
The decision by the Scottish Government to deny planning approval to the giant windfarm on Lewis should be applauded. It is the first glimmer of light in the whole tortuous debate on renewable energy. The previous Labour/Lib-Lab executive had no coherent strategy for wind energy, simply offering lucrative inducements to power companies and land-owners which led to a stampede to erect giant turbines. Hundreds of applications are still in the planning pipeline, many of them in wholly inappropriate locations which would threaten endangered flora and fauna and industrialise some of Scotland's most spectacular landscape. Worse still, by destroying deep peatland, as would have been the case on Lewis, these wind-farms would create more carbon emissions than they would ever save.
Plans for two large windfarms in rural Denbighshire were yesterday snubbed by officials - despite Parliamentary orders to increase renewable energy production across the UK. Among the reasons cited were fears the removal of trees might lead to flooding, noise pollution and a possible adverse effect on tourism. Denbighshire councillors were advised by their own planners to give the green light to two windfarms totalling 29 turbines. But the county snubbed both plans - and went firmly against their officers' advice. The decision comes despite the same committee agreeing last year there should be windfarms on the exact same spot. ..."This sends a very clear message to the Assembly and to Westminster that local politicians want to determine local planning decisions made on local issues, and not be dictated to from elsewhere. "However, residents are very aware this is unlikely to be the end of the matter."
On Lewis the turbines will dominate the shores of many trout lochs, yet Lewis Wind Power's environmental survey makes no mention of the environmental impact on the lochs; it makes no reference to the existence of the lochs at all. The "green lobby" often use terms like "sustainable" to describe the industrial complex that Mr McIver hopes the Barvas Moor would become once the turbines are built. Industrialisation and the current sustainable lifestyle which has protected a unique ecosystem for thousands of years are incompatible, it is impossible for them to work hand in hand ...
One of the country's tallest wind farms is being proposed for a site within two miles of more than two thousands homes. An action group has already been formed and the plan for the eight turbines between Cotton Farm between Great Paxton, Graveley, Toseland and the Offords looks likely to face vociferous opposition from those living in the villages. npower is due to submit a formal planning application sometime this year and is currently seeking the views of residents by distributing 6,000 newsletters. ...npower said they had received 342 responses to their newsletter, two thirds of which had been positive. However, Mr Gray says the initial surveys by the action group found more than 90 per cent of locals opposed to it.
A Campaign against plans to build a 10-turbine wind farm north of Grantham was bolstered this week when Frances, the Dowager Duchess of Rutland, pledged her support. The Dowager Duchess said the Vale of Belvoir, where she has lived for many years, would be "devastated" if the plans went ahead. She joined campaigners from BLOT - Belvoir Locals Oppose Turbines - on Tuesday when they flew a blimp 410ft over the proposed wind farm site between Normanton and Long Bennington.
Britain will be forced to build thousands more wind turbines in the countryside under a Brussels edict to be announced tomorrow. Energy experts say new EU climate change targets mean the UK will have to generate 40 per cent of its electricity from green sources within 12 years. In order to meet that target, the number of wind turbines on the land would have to rise fourfold. Thousands more would be needed at sea. The move would be one of the greatest engineering projects in years - and dramatically change the skyline of Britain and its coastal waters.